The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, announced today that global food prices rose for the eighth consecutive month last January, to climb to their highest levels since July 2014, led by jumps in the prices of grains, sugar and vegetable oils.
Reuters quoted the Rome-based organization as saying in a statement that global cereal crops remained on track to reach a record level in 2020, but warned of a sharp decline in stocks and cited large import requests from China.
The FAO Food Price Index, which measures the monthly changes of a basket of grains, oilseeds, dairy products, meat and sugar, scored 113.3 points on average last month, compared to a revised figure of 108.6 points in December and 107.5 points before the amendment.
The FAO Cereal Price Index rose 1.7 percent on a monthly basis in January, led by a rise in global corn prices of 11.2 percent and an increase of about 42.3 percent from a year ago, supported by reasons including purchases by China and less than expected production in the United States.
The FAO said wheat prices rose 6.8 percent, driven by strong global demand and expectations that Russia's sales would drop when it triples its export duties on its wheat in March 2021.
Sugar prices jumped 8.1 percent as concerns about worsening crop prospects in the European Union, Russia and Thailand and dry weather conditions in South America caused import demand to rise.
The vegetable oil price index rose 5.8 percent, reaching its highest level since May 2012, among other reasons, due to lower than expected palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia due to heavy rain, among other factors.
The increase in soy oil prices was supported by reduced export opportunities and continued strikes in Argentina.